By Any Media Necessary: Mapping Youth and Participatory Politics

MA+P Toolkit: Sound

This project is created and shared by  Media Arts + Practice professor Michael Bodie.

Single Image Soundscape

David Sonneschein says in his book, "Sound Design", that "the intuitive nature of sound, unlike the obvious, categorical presence of sight, allows our minds to create more internal images and relationships." In Project #1 you had the opportunity to explore a "Day in Your Life" through photography - a visual representation of the world around you. In Project #2 you will create a sonic world inspired by a photograph of your choice, using sound design to tell your story.

Using a single image as your backdrop, you are tasked with creating an audio soundscape by combining a selection of sound effects, voice over, and music. The goal is to bring the picture to life, expanding the world represented through the photographer’s lens, and telling a story about what you perceive might have happened (or is happening) in the photo. The multiple layers of audio should be used to reveal something that might not be evident in the photo, allowing your audience to "create more internal images and relationships" during the experience.

Tone is a key element in storytelling. Your confidence in your story's tone allows the audience to relax and willfully follow the artist's journey. In this project you must establish a clear tone from the beginning, then manipulate it, at some point, in order to shift the tone in such a way that deepens your story. When/how you do this within the 2 minutes is completely up to you.

Single Image Soundscape Example by Michael Bodie

Sound recording tutorial (rough cut 11/5/14)

Sound editing tutorial (rough cut 11/5/14)

Project Parameters:

  1. You must use an audio editing program (Audacity, ProTools, Garageband, etc)
  2. The audio should be approximately 2 minutes in length (with a 10 sec leeway)
  3. You must incorporate at least 6 individual audio tracks which can be a combination of sound effects, ambient sounds, music, and voice.
  4. Your project must be precise in its tone, and include at least one tonal shift within the sound design.
  5. It is imperative that you relay an idea/clear story with a beginning, middle, and end. Not necessarily in that order.


Free Audio Editor for PC/MAC:


YouTube to MP3 Converter:

Free Sound Effects Websites

Free Sound Effects

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